Reflections on Schalke's USA National Camp

This summer, coaches from the FC Schalke 04 youth academy, the Knappenschmiede, travelled around the United States running clinics for youth clubs in official cooperation with the Knappenschmiede International Program, through Global Image Sports. Following these clinics, the coaches were tasked with selecting the best players to attend the 2019 FC Schalke 04 National Camp held near Atlanta, Georgia.

The goal of the National Camp was to place these selected players into a higher quality environment and evaluate how they react. Over the course of five days, the players were put through the same drills and methodologies as Schalke academy players and took in hours of lectures that taught them about what makes the Knappenschmiede successful at developing world-class players.

“It was great getting to work with different types of players from different backgrounds and locations. Bringing them all together was an amazing experience for both the players and for our coaches,” says Peter Knäbel, Schalke’s senior director for youth development.

Following the National Camp, players are given personal evaluations and the best players are invited on the 2020 FC Schalke 04 Elite Trip where players will train at the S04 Academy, play matches and take in a live match at the VELTINS-Arena. Through these programs, FC Schalke 04 will continue to expand its reach and exposure to high-level talent in the United States with the hopes of developing future prospects for the club.

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